Oan Kim and Brigitte Bouillot
The Man Who Paints Water Drops
Part of
The Man Who Paints Water Drops

The Man Who Paints Water Drops

Oan Kim and Brigitte Bouillot

79 min.
France and South Korea
Subtitles: Catalan, Spanish and English

A fascinating portrait of the most famous Korean painter, Kim Tschang-Yeul, known for obsessively painting many variations of the same motif: a drop of water.


Oan Kim and Brigitte Bouillot
Oan Kim
Clarisse Tupin, Paraiso Production
Young Kim, Martine Kim
Nassim Gordji-Tehrani, Oan Kim, Brigitte Bouillot
Sound editing
Alexandre Hecker

South Korea, 2016. In a museum room, a man with white hair and beard remains silent and motionless while a dozen journalists surround him and photograph him non-stop.

His name is Kim Tschang-Yeul, the most renowned Korean artist of his generation. Kim has built a singular body of work around the representation of a unique and fascinating motif: a drop of water.

This obsession hides a mysterious origin rooted in the history of his country. It is the paradox of a character with an unusual fate, born in North Korea, fleeing the trauma of war and going into exile in South Korea, the United States, and finally France.

Kim's son directs and guides the documentary to try to better understand his father. What does the image of a drop of water conceal? The film delves into deep questions about family relationships and the confines of communication with those closest to us. Can we understand their dreams, their ambitions and their traumas?

Kim Tschang-Yeu died on January 5th, 2021 at the age of 91.

DocsBarcelona Panorama Section, supported by ARTE


About the direction
Oan Kim

Oan Kim


Oan Kim is a filmmaker, photographer and musician. He studied video and photography at Paris Nationa...

Brigitte Bouillot

Brigitte Bouillot


Brigitte Bouillot is a filmmaker, photographer and scenographer based in Paris. she studied visual a...

DocsBarcelona Trajectory

DocsBarcelona Festival · Panorama
Edició 2021

Awards and festivals

Hot Docs
Canada, 2021
Oan Kim and Brigitte Bouillot
The Man Who Paints Water Drops
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The Man Who Paints Water Drops discovers non-verbal ways of expressing and understanding Kim's obsession with painting water drops and its origin, rooted in Korea's history.

— Angie Driscoll · Hot Docs

This collaboration between an inscrutable artist and his filmmaker son speaks volumes, despite documenting a man of very few words, whose practice embraces meditative silence.

— The Movie Data Base
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